Ensemble for Medieval Music. Benjamin Bagby, Director

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Sequentia celebrates its 40th anniversary in March 2017




Katja Zimmermann

(exclusive of Europe)

Seth Cooper
Seth Cooper Arts Inc.
4592 Hampton Ave.
Montréal, QC, Canada
Tel: 514-467-5052

In association for
Season 2016-2017 with:

Jon Aaron
Aaron Concert Artists 
220 West 148th St. 4J
New York City 10039, NY / USA
Tel: 212-665-0313


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Fragments for the End of Time

Fortis atque amara

Frankish sequence (9th century)
Source: Paris, B.N. lat. 1084 / transcription Alejandro Planchart.

The Frankish sequences – newly-created pieces whose role in the liturgy is not always clear to us – were often creations of great beauty and imagination. Some of their melodies may have roots in earlier traditions, and the texts also display a succinct virtuosity, cleverly incorporating imagery from earlier Christian writers in new and surprising ways. This apocalyptic sequence, with its unusual melody, introduces most of the themes in our program.


Full of might and bitter that day shall be, on which all things shall perish: what is seen in bodily form, the earth, and all the creatures that swim.

The gentle judge will draw near, to measure out punishment strictly, and he will judge the ages, he whom created all. The high column of heaven will begin to tremble at his nod. Oh memorable day, on which all things shall be laid open!

And what shall become of the scribe’s mark, what of the tablet, if the column of the sky shall begin to be so afraid? And what shall human beings feel, or earth’s creatures, if the hosts of the heavens shall begin to tremble so?

Oh you who as King lavish all things upon us – the eternal, the present – do not let us go into hell’s loathsome places, the dwellings of the devils – no, lead us to the angels’ realms! Amen.

Translation: Peter Dronke

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Upcoming Concerts

05 October 2017
Paris (FR), Musée de Cluny
Monks Singing Pagans

09 to 13 October 2017
Venice (IT), Fondazione Cini
Seminar Roman de Fauvel

20 April 2018
Konstanz, D
Oswald in Konstanz

See full concert schedule



Benjamin Bagby's recent activities as teacher/lecturer, linked to his performances

At the invitation of the music department, Benjamin taught a performance workshop on the music of Hildegard von Bingen for students at Princeton University (29 March), where he also performed 'Beowulf' in a collaborative production with digital light designer Craig Winslow. Following this, at the invitation of the medieval studies program and the English department, he gave a lecture on his work with reconstructing the 'Beowulf' performance, at Yale University (3 April).

At the Université Paris – Sorbonne, where Benjamin is on the faculty, the yearly 'Entretiens de la musique ancienne' were held this year in honor of his life-long work with reconstructing 'lost songs'. The main event was his performance of 'Beowulf' (11 May), with French video titles, in the Amphithéâtre Richelieu of the Sorbonne, followed by two days of symposium at the university's Centre Clignancourt, sponsored by the historical music organization IREMUS and the musicology department of the university. During this symposium, Benjamin gave a lecture on his work with reconstructed harps and the kinds of clues they can provide ('Beowulf ': dans l'atelier d'un conteur d'histoires).


2017 Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship awarded by Early Music America to string-player Allison Monroe

This scholarship is given by EMA to “an outstanding and highly-motivated (and possibly unconventional) young performer of medieval music who seeks to widen his/her experience through more advanced study and/or auditions in Europe.”  The recipient is chosen by a jury of musicians who knew or worked with the great medieval music specialist and teacher, Barbara Thornton (1950-1998), who co-founded Sequentia together with Benjamin Bagby in 1977. Read more about Allison here.

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